Ask Coach KFos: What To Do When Someone Pulls Away - Kelsey Foster

Ask Coach KFos: What To Do When Someone Pulls Away

by Kelsey on March 7, 2013

This week’s question: What do you do when you feel someone pulling away?


“I’ve been dating this guy for two months. We were friends for two years before dating. He has a young son and I love how great of a dad he is. We started out intense, a lot of words were spoken about our future together, how we feel… then we started sleeping together. Now slowly the communication on his end stopped. No more “you are beautiful”, only I love you if I say it, etc. I talked to him to explain that words are very important to me. He said he would work on communicating his feelings but nothing has changed in a couple weeks. I sort of feel like a friend with benefits. He did invite me to two outings with his son but left me out of another one. I feel mixed signals and my first instinct is to break it off because he doesn’t seem as emotionally available as I need someone to be. He has been through two bad relationships where he was cheated on. Anyways.. whew.. please tell me your opinion and don’t hold back. If I’m being needy tell me so, if I’m sounding crazy, tell me that, lol. Thank you for listening!”

Dear Mixed Signals: First off, you are not being needy nor are you crazy! It is a horrible feeling when you feel someone you love pulling away. When the beginning starts off really intense, there is a natural cooling off that will happen because it’s really tough to sustain that level of intensity. Even though he’s backed off a bit, I would take it as a really positive sign that he invited you to some outings with his son.

That being said, I understand very well the instinct to break things off when they seem to take a detour or change. What I recommend is that you hang tight. Observe him. Give him some space. Guys can be funny in that when a relationship is about to hit a new level of intimacy, they can get distant. Let him kind of figure out where he’s at, if you see a future with him especially. Respond to him but let him take the lead in the next few days/weeks as far as initiating any conversations about your relationship and making plans, etc.

For your sake, too, you might consider being a little less available physically. For example, make a silent rule that you will only be physical after an actual date vs. a casual late night invite to come over for that sole purpose. That will help you create some boundaries for yourself so you don’t feel like a friend w/ benefits. You don’t even have to tell him you’ve made that rule, just implement it.

And it’s really hard to not freak out, but have faith. Either you both will come through this stronger as a couple, and he will appreciate that you allow him room to figure things out (and there is always the chance it has NOTHING to do with you)…or you will truly find out that he isn’t right for you. Either way, you win. Best of luck to you! xo

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